An example of why people admire and support Bernie Sanders
Margaret Talbot has an interesting column on Bernie Sanders in the New Yorker. It concludes:
. . . [W]hen I asked him how he’d decided to run for President, he gave a long and forthcoming answer, which showed that his sense of what his campaign was about was both realistic and idealistic.
“I thought about it for a long time,” he began. “No. 1, most importantly for me, it was not ego. You’re looking at a guy who ran for statewide office and got one per cent of the vote. So losing per se is not something that I worried about.” But, Sanders continued, “it was important to me to know that I could run a good campaign, in which I carried the banner and carried the ideas that meant a lot to millions of people. So it wasn’t about losing personally or not doing well. It was about carrying the banner for family and medical leave, for a massive jobs program, for climate change, for campaign-finance reform.” Sanders was concerned that, if his campaign did not have some success, “you’d have some people saying, ‘Oh, Bernie Sanders talked about campaign-finance reform and overturning Citizens United, and he got two per cent of the vote. I guess that’s not a serious issue.’ You understand what I’m saying? So I wanted to do it well. And I had to determine that I could.”
He did do it well. As he emphasized last night, Sanders and his movement helped produce a much more progressive platform than Clinton alone would have. More important, he may have energized a grassroots movement that could reduce the influence of corporate money in American politics and keep issues like the minimum wage, affordable college, and income inequality alive. That’s something he’s said all along, too: that no President, no matter how well-intentioned or progressive, can make any real change without the moral and pragmatic pressure of a grassroots movement. And he said it again last night, because Sanders is nothing if not consistent. “Election days come and go, but the struggle of the people to create a government which represents all of us and not just the one per cent . . . that struggle continues.”